Browse Tag: interest

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Money advice for kids that fits on an index card

There’s a great personal finance book by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack — The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated. The idea is that “everything you need to know about managing your money could fit on an index card.”

Olen and Pollack aren’t the only ones who have created an index card full of money advice. Bill from FamZoo has one — The 5 Things I Want To Teach My Kids About Money Fit on a 4×6 Index Card. I also love these slide shows from the New York Times — one and another.

Reading all of the different ideas and loving the simplicity of the project, I decided that it was time to create my own.

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How I streamline my son’s allowance, interest and recurring payments

It’s been a few years that I’ve been working with my son on personal finance. Like with other aspects of life, things have gotten a bit complicated.

  • He gets an allowance — a percentage goes to his FamZoo card and the rest to his savings (it sounds simple, but the latter has an extra step)
  • He earns interest on his savings
  • He’s now paying ME for recurring expenses including his cell phone and Duolingo Plus

Maybe you’ve experienced this with your own finances — you put different processes in place and over time, you can’t remember how the whole process works and are afraid to touch any one thing.

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6 habits that will yield big financial results

6 Small Habits That Will Yield Big Financial Results

I just finished reading The Slight Edge and wow, what a great book! I’d heard of this concept years ago from The Art of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohn.

The idea is:

Little things that seem insignificant in the doing, yet when compounded over time yield very big results… I call them simple daily disciplines. Simple productive actions, repeated consistently over time. That, in a nutshell, is the slight edge.

There are many small, positive actions you can take every day. They probably don’t look like much and in fact, they’re often super easy to do. Over time, these repeated actions will yield big results in your personal and financial life. Like with the rule of 72, the success curve is exponential.

So if it’s so easy, why doesn’t everyone do this? Because they’re also easy not to do. People underestimate their power.

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Making the transition from cash to card - dollar bills and credit card

Making the Transition from Cash to Card

For two years now, J has been using cash, paper and pencil to manage his money. I’ve been paying monthly interest and bi-weekly allowance in cash. I’ve been calculating interest payments in Excel and emailing statements.

My goal was to help him understand cash (and math) by using hands-on, practical examples.

It’s been awesome. J started with $40 in his savings envelope in April 2016 and had over $500 by June 2018. (Pretty good for a kid with no job.)

Time to move on

When he turned 10 a few months ago, I knew it was time to learn something else. Cash is great, but how many of us really use cash and only cash every day? His financial education needed to include the responsible use of cards.

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Bar chart for post on Risky Business of CD Rates

The Risky Business of CD Rates

Last November, J opened a CD at Ally Bank. The idea came from a big conversation we had about making his money work harder.

He invested $500 in a 2-year Raise Your Rate CD at 1.5% at Ally. This type of CD allowed him to increase the rate once during the term. (For reference, his online savings account was earning 1.25%.)

What happened

Fast foward to this spring and I saw the rates going up. And up. And up.

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